Meredith Allan

We interviewed the lovely Meredith Allan, one of our very own tubies, to gain more of an insight on how life can be with a feeding tube.

Tell us when you got your feeding tube and why?

“In April 2021, I had neck surgery to fix a fractured C3. The surgery was a success but something went wrong during surgery and I ended up with severe dysphagia. I had dysphagia before surgery but I could easily eat and drink in community. The fluoroscopy and FEES showed both my laryngeal and pharyngeal muscles were not working.”

How did you feel when you first arrived home with a feeding tube?

“I know a fair few people with PEGS and they were healthy. I also know a person who refused the PEG and they died. I was confident that I could do everything myself. Within 2 weeks of arriving home I had two trips to emergency- PEG broke and PEG fell out. After that I had nausea for two months from the new PEG. Once I had that PEG replaced all the nausea went away. I started putting on weight and finally was happy again.”

How do you feel now about your feeding tube?

“Now I make the PEG work for me instead of the other way around. I eat lunch (soups etc.) and have started eating breakfast with a modified cereal. I still flush twice a day and have a PEG feed at dinner time. Saves cooking and thinking about what to eat!”

Give us one piece of advice you have for clinicians working with people who have feeding tubes

“Having a PEG is not the end of the world. Adapting to it can take time, eventually though it does work. I have travelled to Sydney, Perth and Hobart in the past six months, two trips for work. Once for a conference. The flight to Perth was long and I had to eat. I did find something I could manage, and there was ice cream! But I always have a bottle of feed in my bag just in case I don’t find a manageable item to eat.”

Thank you, Meredith, for your wise words and for sharing your story.

Happy reading and home tube feeding,

Tube Dietitian.